Six people, including two Pennsylvanians, have been indicted for their alleged participation in a widespread ring trafficking stolen human remains.
Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, and Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Bloomsburg, along with four others, have been charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania, for their involvement in the illicit operation. The others accused include individuals from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Arkansas.
According to the indictment, the group operated a nationwide network between 2018 and 2022, acquiring and selling human remains pilfered from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary. The stolen organs and cadaver parts were primarily obtained from bodies donated for medical research and education before their intended cremations.
Cedric Lodge, 55, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, who managed the morgue for the Anatomical Gifts Program at Harvard Medical School, is accused of being the ringleader of the operation. Together with his wife, Denise Lodge, 63, also of Goffstown, they allegedly facilitated access to the morgue for their accomplices, Maclean and Taylor, to select and purchase cadaver parts.
Taylor and Maclean are reported to have played a significant role in transporting the stolen remains back to Pennsylvania. The indictment details how they resold these remains for profit, primarily to Pauley in Pennsylvania. Pauley, on his part, circulated many of the stolen remains he purchased to other individuals, including Mathew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota. Lampi and Pauley had exchanged over $100,000 in online payments for the stolen remains, highlighting the significant scale of the operation.
The indictment further alleges that Pauley also procured stolen remains from Candace Chapman Scott, an employee at a mortuary in Little Rock, Arkansas. Scott stole body parts she was expected to cremate, including remains of two stillborn infants, which she sold to Pauley.
U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam voiced his disgust and outrage at the crimes, saying, “The theft and trafficking of human remains strike at the very essence of what makes us human. It is particularly egregious that so many of the victims here volunteered to allow their remains to be used to educate medical professionals and advance the interests of science and healing.”
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 15 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is making efforts to identify and reach out to all victims and their families.